Defending champions the Olympic Eagles of Nigeria got off their campaign at the 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations on a dour note following a 1-0 loss to Cote d’Ivoire at the Al Salam Stadium, Cairo, on Saturday evening.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has issued a severe warning against dishonest dealings and sharp practices by player-managers, football agents, coaches and even parents of football players. In its zero tolerance for such practices, the Federation made it clear that it would not hesitate to go as far as prosecuting those who are found culpable.

Dr Mohammed Sanusi, the General Secretary of the NFF, made this known on Monday where he revealed that the federation had been inundated with tales of sleazy practices by individuals who were of the habit of demanding monies from parents of young players before their wards can be included in the camp of the U-17 boys national team, the Golden Eaglets.

“We have given strict instructions to the coaches of the U-17 National Team, to the effect that no parent or agent or player-manager, or anyone under any guise or pretext, should pay any money to have their ward in the camp. Everything must be based on merit, from invitation of players to camp to those who eventually make the team for any match or competition.


“The NFF is monitoring the situation and will not hesitate to go as far as prosecuting any individual who engages in exchange of money or other gratification to have players in camp, even a parent. This is a very serious warning and we are not joking.”

Sanusi stressed the fact that the warning applied to all categories of national teams.

“I have decided to centre this warning around the U-17 team because this is where the practice appears to be most rampant. However, it applies to all the national teams. The U-20 National Team is also in camp, and the coaches have been handed similar instructions.

“Anyone found to be offering or collecting gratification to have a player in camp or make a team would face the full wrath of the law.

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